Monday, March 5, 2012

'Emulation exemplification'

Wallkill Lodge No. 627 will meet in the Grand Lodge Room in Masonic Hall to host brethren from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex of the United Grand Lodge of England for an exemplification of the Master Mason Degree in Emulation ritual.

Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
Masonic Hall, Second Floor
71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan

Often thought to be the official or—gasp!—only Craft ritual in the United Grand Lodge of England, Emulation actually is one of many rituals in England, but it is the most widely used within UGLE, and is the best known by those of us outside UGLE. (Of course UGLE has no official ritual. Imagine that.)

About twelve years ago, when I was a relative newbie in Masonry, I purchased from Bro. Yasha a weathered copy of the second edition (1970) of Lewis Masonic's printing of the ritual. Its introduction explains the history of Emulation.

The Emulation Ritual's Master Mason
tracing board, as depicted in the 1970
printing of the ritual by Lewis Masonic.
Emulation Working takes its name from the Emulation Lodge of Improvement whose committee are the custodians of this particular ritual.... The Emulation Lodge of Improvement for Master Masons first met on 2nd October 1823. The Lodge was formed for Master Masons only, and worked, in its earliest years, only the Masonic lectures. However by about 1830 in accordance with general practice the ceremonies were also being rehearsed—always with considerable attention to accuracy, so that no alteration might inadvertently become practice. The Lodge of Improvement has met uninterruptedly since those days, so soon after the settling of the ceremonies by Grand Lodge in 1816, for the purpose of demonstrating unchanged, so far as has been humanly possible, the Emulation Ritual in accordance with the original method. Since June 1965 the variations permitted by the Grand Lodge Resolution of December 1964, with consequential amendments, have also been periodically demonstrated.

There was no officially sanctioned publication of the ritual until 1969.

One cannot reveal on the web the differences between this ritual and our rituals that might further induce you to attend this event, but differences are present, and are obvious in symbols and Working Tools. In fact, as regard the Compasses, Emulation makes a striking theological point that is bound to raise eyebrows. And of course there are "Americanisms" that are absent from this English work.

Believe me, if you read this blog regularly, a guy like you has nothing better to do on a Friday night. Get to Masonic Hall. Bring your regalia and identification.

1 comment:

Nick Johnson said...

I really enjoyed when Internet Lodge visited our state and exemplified the Third Degree. The event was put on by Churchill Lodge No. 351. Very interesting differences. I very much enjoyed myself.